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Teach Kids About Earthworms, Life cycle and Worm Farming

The Worm Music Video for Kids is Hilarious!

What do I see When I Look at an Earthworm?

When you look at earthworms you will see a slimy, brown, squiggly thing. You won't see any eyes, you won't see any ears and you won't see any legs. When you touch one (and who wouldn't?) they feel really limp like an old soggy piece of twine. And where is the head on this thing anyway?

I Love Earthworms graphic

I Love Earthworms graphic

Earthworms don't have any eyes, ears or teeth!

Earthworm up close

Earthworm up close

Worms Are Built For Hard Work

This is a tricky creature, and the way an earthworm looks can fool you! Even without eyes and ears this squiggly worm can sense when the sun is shining and if a hungry Gopher is hanging around. Earthworms are very strong for their size and can move stones around and dig tunnels to travel through even though they don't have a spine. In their mouth you won't find any teeth but these

worms can eat almost one and a half times their own weight in one day! Imagine eating a bathtub full of cereal everyday, yikes! But earthworms eat a lot of soil so it is much better for the earth.

Earthworms are made to do really hard work.

Nature made them to be the perfect recyclers and underground farmers. When they move through the ground they eat away all of the dead plants and animals around and turn all of this yucky stuff into good stuff. The organic trash gets digested by the worms and gets turned into vitamin rich and healthy soil. This good soil that the worms make gets used in growing better plants for all living things on earth to eat!

Earthworms Helped Make Agricultural Crops Possible in Ancient Egypt!

Charles Darwin in 1875

Charles Darwin in 1875

Darwin Never Met a Worm He Didn't Like!

The very famous English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) studied earthworms for almost 40 years. He wasn't fooled by the way the worms looked when he would dig them up on field trips. He kept worms everywhere around his house, in jars in his library to the beds in his garden. He would count them, and make noises at them, feed them odd foods like horseradish and cabbage, and watched them working away in his yard.

Charles Darwin and Worms

In 1881, Darwin wrote,"It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world." Now that's a guy who really liked his earthworms!

Darwin may have been right, and probably is, because even some scientist today say that ancient civilizations might not have evolved without earthworms. As the worms worked away underground making the rich soil about 5,000 years ago, they were actually improving the river valley soils of Egypt, India, and Mesopotamia. With the rich soil came the ability to start growing food crops and feed the first citizens in the earliest towns and villages. Great work worms!


Earthworms Are All About Segments, Rings, Hairs and a Girdle

Identifying the things that make an earthworm a true earthworm.

Identifying the things that make an earthworm a true earthworm.


Checking For True Earthworm's

Many creature on earth have a wormy appearance, but that doesn't mean they are a true earthworm. How do you tell if a squirmy critter is an earthworm? Let's do some identifying for ourselves. Look at the picture above after reading about earthworm I.D. to see the important things that make an earthworm special!

Identifying Earthworms


Worms Wear Girdles? Well, kind of. Earthworms have a band-like section (clitellum) on their body that looks like a girdle or really thick rubber-band. This band is put to good use when they need new baby worms to help with the farming.

Worms wear rings? You bet they do! Every true earthworm has rings all along its body that divide the worm into segments. The first and last segments are smooth, but all of the rings in between have four pairs of itsy-bitsy hair like bristles. The worms use these hairs to grab a hold of the earth around them and pull themselves along increasing the amount of air in the soil, which makes the soil better for growing things.

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So, when you find a worm on the ground and it has segments, rings and bristles, you can be sure you have indeed found yourself the hard working, earth friendly earthworm!

A Leech may have segements, but no rings. It's not an Earthworm at all!

Leeches are NOT earthworms.

Leeches are NOT earthworms.

No segments here, because this is a Roundworm, it's NOT an Earthworm either!

Roundworms are not earthworms either!

Roundworms are not earthworms either!

Imposter Worms are Easy to Spot! They Don't Have the Right Shape!

You may find worm-like creatures crawling around in your garden or in other places, but they may just be imposter's! When you look at these two wormy animals in the pictures, one has segments but doesn't have rings, because it isn't a earthworm at all, it's a Leech! And the other one doesn't have any segments, so it is not an earthworm either, because it is a different kind of worm all together, a Roundworm. Just because something has a worm-like body, doesn't always mean it is a true earthworm! So be sure to check it for its earthworm I.D.!

You can see clearly in the two pictures to the right that to be a true Earthworm takes some special and identifiable features.

Earthworms Eat a Mountain of Oranic Waste Annually

Organic Waste

Organic Waste

Mount Everest

Mount Everest

How Hard Does an Earthworm Work? Check-out These Amazing Facts.

  • In one day an earthworm can eat its own weight and more in organic waste. Think about how hard it would be to eat your weight in food everyday.
  • Charles Darwin gathered up and weighed the rich soil (fertilizer) created by the worms to see how much they create over a one year period of time. In a grassy area next to his house he mounded up 18 tons of the earth friendly manure manufactured by his worms. Now that's a hard working group of worms!
  • If you think Mount Everest is tall, scientist say that if you were to pile up all of the topsoil that worms have made over the past millions of years in one place, it would be five times as tall as Mount Everest! Wow! That's very tall!
  • Can you imagine being buried under a mountain of dead leaves and organic stuff? Earthworms spend their whole lives breaking down this organic matter, so if we lived in a world without worms, we would be living under a mountain of waste! That does not sound very comfortable to me!



For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Do earthworms have rings?
    • NO. Why would a worm wear a ring?
    • Yes! Every earthworm has rings that separate the segments on its body.
  2. What is the name of the famous English naturalist who loved earthworms?
    • Harry Potter
    • Charles Darwin
  3. Do earthworms have hair?
    • No way. They are smooth and slippery.
    • Yes. Every segment of the earthworm has four itsy-bitsy bristle like hairs.
  4. Do earthworms have eyes?
    • No. They have no eyes but can still tell when it is light
    • Yes. How else do they get all of that work done?

Answer Key

  1. Yes! Every earthworm has rings that separate the segments on its body.
  2. Charles Darwin
  3. Yes. Every segment of the earthworm has four itsy-bitsy bristle like hairs.
  4. No. They have no eyes but can still tell when it is light


TrapGopher on August 10, 2013:

My kids loved the video. Excellent HUB.

kj2003 on September 14, 2012:

I love worms. WORMS ARE THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!

andrebreynolds on June 06, 2011:

That's a very basic fact that kids must know. Thanks for sharing.

html on June 05, 2011:

I LUv HUb pages

hubpagesrock on June 05, 2011:

Im doing a project on earthworm and it was hard finding the information but thanks to come i passed the project

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